So many people have just read the story and not really paid much attention, but if you really read it there are so many underlying messages and symbols. Hawthorne did one thing stuck out and it was he used the three main characters in the story to represent the three characteristics or traits of mankind which are spiritual, natural, and mental. Nathaniel Hawthorne exhibited the spiritual trait of mankind in the “Birthmark” through Georgina. Georgina was the woman with the hand shaped birthmark on her cheek.
The spiritual trait in a person believes in the internal peace, and rising above the world and what exists here. In other words, spiritual people will do whatever or say whatever to make someone else happy. In the beginning of the tale Georgina thought the birthmark was part of her beauty, but towards the end she said “either remove this dreadful hand, or take my wretched life,” because she wanted to please her husband who hated the mark.
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Georgina did not think the hand shaped birthmark was awful like her husband had. She argued with Aylmer about removing the mark. you have rejected the best the earth could offer. ” Georgina believed that beauty isn’t always on the outside. Nathaniel Hawthorne did a phenomenal job at portraying the spiritual side of human beings through the character Georgina. Hawthorne used the slave hand Aminidab to show the natural traits in the human race. He described Aminidab by “his vast strength, his shaggy hair, his smoky aspect, and incredible earthiness that incrusted him. He seemed to represent man’s physical nature. ” This quote is basically listing out the traits of a natural or physical person.
Hawthorne always had Aylmer talking about Aminidab in a negative way making him sound lesser or not as good. A natural person is one who doesn’t ask questions, does the very minimum, and does what they are told. Nathaniel Hawthorne portrayed a physical or natural characteristic though Aminidab. Aylmer was portrayed as the mental part of human characteristics. “There lived a man of science. ” Hawthorne said talking about Aylmer. A mental person loves scientific experiments, and Hawthorne did an amazing job at making Aylmar scientific.
Another characteristic of a mental person is that they never are satisfied. They want to continue to make things bigger and better than their original form. Mental people want to have control over everything. Hawthorne wrote, “Man’s ultimate control over nature,” because Aylmer was trying to change his wife who had been naturally given beauty. He definitely was the mental person in this short story. In “the Birthmark” Hawthorne sneaked some hidden messages into his thrilling story line. Aylmar was the mental side, Gorgina was the spiritual side, and Aminidab was the Natural.